Adobe has announced an updated version of its Connect Pro web collaboration and meeting service, adding the ability to link to teleconference calls, tighter security for customers, new hosting options, and a dedicated iPhone client.
Announced at the Enterprise 2.0 conference in San Francisco and available immediately, Connect Pro 7.5 adds telephony integration, webcasting, secure desktop sharing, a managed service option, and new capabilities for mobile devices.
Universal Voice enables anyone with a Connect Pro meeting room to dial out and link to a conference call hosted by any toll-free conference provider, Adobe said.
This capability is delivered via a new Flash Media Gateway that supports the SIP and RTP protocols, which opens the door to similar support being provided for video, according to Peter Ryce, technology evangelist at Adobe.
"The next step will be to talk to video, so we can link a room to videoconferencing products from Tandberg, PictureTel and Polycom," he said.
Also new is a Webcast feature that trims down the meeting room capabilities so that it can be scaled up for broadcast to tens of thousands of participants, such as for a company-wide presentation, with support for Q&A sessions and attendance tracking.
Connect Pro 7.5 also adds greater security, with some features that customers in the financial services industry had requested, such as the ability to force recording of all meetings.
"We've put in granular controls for corporate policies, such as the ability to disable requests to take control of your screen and restrict who can load content into a meeting room," said Ryce.
A new 'whitelist' capability allows administrators to specify which Windows applications can be displayed in a meeting room by users, so that a spreadsheet showing sensitive figures would appear hashed out, for example, if Excel was not on the approved list.
Also new is the option to access Connect Pro as a managed service, which offers a halfway house between the on-premise and fully hosted choices currently available.
"Customers can let us take care of the servers, but integrate it with any back-end systems they like," said Ryce.
Unlike the fully hosted version, the managed service is operated as an isolated instance of the service with more privacy, he added.
Adobe also disclosed an upcoming Connect Pro client for the iPhone, currently in beta, but nearly ready for release.
While Connect Pro is accessed through a browser from most computers, the iPhone version has been created as a Flash application to better suit the screen size and capabilities of smartphones, according to Ryce.
This means that the application should also be available in the future for other devices with a Flash 10 player.
"The first platform will be the iPhone, but there's no reason why we can't compile it as standard Flash and deploy it to other smartphones," said Ryce.
Adobe Connect Pro is available under a software licence, subscription, or monthly and pay-per-use fees. Full details here.
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